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Maanaadu review: STR and SJ Suryah shine in the taut time-loop thriller

After the 11th hour negotiation, Maanaadu finally sees the light of the day. The much hyped time-loop thriller is just what Silambarasan aka STR and his fans badly needed.

Maanaadu review: STR and SJ Suryah shine in the taut time-loop thriller
Still from 'Maanaadu'


Cast: Silambarasan TR, SJ Suryah, SA Chandrasekhar, Y Gee Mahendra, Kalyani Priyadarshan

Director: Venkat Prabhu

Music director: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Synopsis: A man from Dubai attends a wedding and gets caught in the crosshairs of a political conspiracy.

Rating- 3.5/5

Maanaadu doesn't bother about too many things like previous Venkat Prabhu films, thanks to a no-nonsense writing. Making us wonder why the airport and the wedding sequences were much focussed at first, the screenplay makes every detail count. The film's world is restricted to its title 'Maanaadu' --- the political meeting.

STR in his fit avatar looks effortlessly stylish in both stunts and dance. Kalyani Priyadarshan, though has less to contribute to the story, plays her part well in the given screen time. SJ Suryah with his menacing attitude steals the spotlight in several scenes. Vaagai Chandrasekhar, Y Gee Mahendra and SA Chandrasekhar deliver what exactly is required from their respective roles.

Venkat Prabhu’s writing is too good and needs a special mention. Since the film is time-bound we do not know what the characters were a year or 10 years ago but the intentions they carry should convince us, every main character in this film does it. We buy in to why a particular character does what it does without delving much.

Yuvan Shankar Raja elevates the scenes and heightens tension on a regular basis. On the song front, he strikes the right notes with the breezy 'Meherzylaa'. The 'power of unity' bgm and SJ Suriya's devilish bgm is energetic.

As mentioned earlier, the fight scenes are razor-sharp and well-choreographed, the pre-interval fight scene is brains and brawn. The camera work, scene staging and acting complemented each other with almost no goofs; as scenes repeat with main characters behaving differently, the atmosphere was flawlessly similar. The art department can take a bow.

Maanaadu is replete with theatre moments, STR's 'Manmathan' reference and him quipping about weight loss literally brings the house down. The actor soft-peddles social and political messages without getting preachy.

The film is not without flaws, the reason why Silambarasan is stuck in a time-loop could have been better and why SJ Suriya is stuck along with Simbu in the loop is not clear. With the fast-paced screenplay you will forgive and forget the logic loopholes and enjoy the film which is the actor's best since 'Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya' and Venkat Prabhu's best since 'Mankatha'.

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